Penn State linebacker Jonathan Sutherland is the latest player to be named to a preseason watch list for the 2022 season. Sutherland has been named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list. The Hornung Award is awarded annually to the most versatile player in college football.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) July 28, 2022
Sutherland is a sixth-year senior who has been reliable at safety and a leader on Penn State’s special teams units for the past four seasons.
Sutherland recorded 24 tackles (13 solo), two tackles for loss, one interception and one pass breakup last year.
With the log jam of young talent at safety on the depth chart and thin depth at linebacker, coaches chose to move the 5-foot-11, 211-pound Sutherland to the SAM linebacker spot, where he could be starting alongside either Kobe King or Tyler Elsdon at the MIKE and Curtis Jacobs at the WILL linebacker position.
Sutherland’s versatility will also work for Penn State when it goes into its sub packages when first-year defensive coordinator Manny Diaz can either use him as a third safety or keep him in as a dime linebacker.
Sutherland is the 11th Penn State player to be named to a preseason watch list. He joins Sean Clifford (O’Brien and Maxwell Awards, Wuerffel Trophy), Keyvone Lee (Doak Walker Award), Mitchell Tinsley and Parker Washington (Biletnikoff Award), Theo Johnson and Brenton Strange (Mackey Award), Juice Scruggs (Rimington Trophy), Joey Porter Jr. and Ji’Ayar Brown (Jim Thorpe Award) and PJ Mustipher (Outland Trophy).
Porter and Mustipher were also named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list.